During my first pregnancy, I daydreamed about peaceful days spent strolling through the park or rocking a sleeping infant in my arms. While I love being a mom, my life is more chaotic than I’d envisioned. I have two young boys and work full-time outside the home. The competing demands of children and clients mean that I’m juggling all sorts of tasks from a never ending to-do list.
Since my priority is finding time to spend with my boys without neglecting my responsibilities to my clients, I wind up “dropping the ball” on some tasks. The first sacrifice I made as a working mother was sleep. I’ve decided that I would rather have an extra hour or two of playtime with my boys than sleep. 4 hours is typical. 6 hours feels like luxury. The second sacrifice was “going to the gym.” My exercise now consists entirely of running after my boys. Every mom makes different trade-offs. Many of my friends tell me that they would rather have a messy house if it meant finding time to exercise.
I actually love having a clean house, and my husband (a former Air Force officer) also likes everything clean and orderly. So staying on top of household tasks is a priority for us both, but we’re focused on being as efficient as possible. Here are our top tips for home cleaning and organization:
- Make Cleaning a Routine: If you wipe down the table after every meal, it always looks spotless. If you keep a hand-held vacuum or Swiffer in the kitchen, it’s easy to sweep up crumbs from kids’ meals/cooking once a day. If you wipe down your bathroom sinks every night after you brush your teeth, they’ll always look nice. When you clean in small increments, your house never gets messy. And cleaning doesn’t seem like a big task.
- Pre-Sort Laundry: We keep baskets in our laundry room for whites, colors, sheets and delicates. When we need to buy new towels, we now buy “white” towels because we’ve realized that we can do them in the same load as our whites. Adding a little bit of bleach keeps everything looking as good as new!
- Teach Children the Clean-up Song: From an early age, we taught our children to clean up their toys. Singing a song might help. For me, I taught them the Barney (yep…the annoying purple dinosaur) “Clean-Up Song.” And we made cleaning seem like a game and did it at the end of every playtime. My youngest is 18 months old, and he will help put all of his toys in his toy basket and dance if we sing the clean-up song. My 4 year old is a little more resistant, but he still understands the importance of pitching in to put away his toys. Cleaning up is NOT Mom’s job in my household. As Barney would say, “Everybody do your share.”
- Invest in Time-Saving Appliances: The right cleaning products and appliances can help save time and simplify your life. For example, I often use the Steam Cycles on my Whirlpool Duet Dryer. I use the Enhanced Touch-Up Steam Cycle to release wrinkles in tablecloths and clothing. While I sometimes need an iron for truly stubborn wrinkles, the steam cycle released nearly all of the wrinkles, which means less time spent ironing. And I no longer hand-wash my delicate clothing since I can use the Hand Wash Cycle on my Whirlpool Duet Washing Machine. This washing machine even has an App for Stain Fighting.
What are your cleaning tips? How do you juggle it all?
Disclosure:I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Whirlpool and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.